Lessons from Mother Pearl, Mary
We know her as the mother of Jesus Christ but there are many other things we can learn from Mary. In this season of Christmas, I would love to share some of the things I have discovered and lessons we can learn from her.
In Luke 1:30, the bible tells us that Mary was favoured by God. But why was she favoured?
- She was poor, young and a female; characteristics that at that time would make her seem unusable by God for any major task
God can use anybody. He doesn't go by our age, gender and our class. He doesn't look at our family history and the money we have in our bank account. He uses any vessel that is available. Don't rule yourself out because you feel too young or because you feel you don't have a voice. You too can be used greatly by God.
- She was a virgin. She was pure
Jesus Christ is Holy and I feel it was important to God that He came through a pure vessel. Our bodies are God's temple. When we keep it pure, we are giving God room to dwell in us.
- She obeyed the customs of her time
During bible times, as soon as the bride's bride price was paid, that was considered a contract of marriage even though the consummation would not happen for some time. The gap in time was a testing period of fidelity as the couple are expected to if any, have little contact with each other. Mary obeyed this law. She didn't do as she pleased.
Mary didn't ignore the laws of her time. These laws were there to protect her and she understood this. Today we have laws and rules in our countries, churches, schools, communities and homes to help protect us as well. It's important we understand what they are and follow these. In our homes and churches, we might feel that the laws are very strict. Mary probably felt same. She probably didn't see the need for her not to be able to have as much physical contact as she wanted with someone whose family has paid her bride price. I mean, it really doesn't make any sense for you to marry someone and leave a gap before physical contact right? However, she must have been told that this was done for her safety. To see if the man would treat her right by respecting that time frame. Let's embrace our boundaries just like Mary did. Boundaries helps guard us from things that can harm us and also helps protect the things in us that are important.
- She was submissive to God's will for her life
She didn't argue with what God was saying. As females, one of our highest calling is submission. It isn't a bad word. Actually it is a fruit of the spirit - meekness. It is strength under control. The person who submits is stronger because it takes a lot of strength to hold back. Jesus Christ submitted to death. Can you imagine the amount of strength it must have taken Him to do that? Are you able to submit to authority? Are you able to hold back from talking back? Are you able to step back and let someone else’s lead or allow another person have a say? These are worth thinking about.
- She was humble even when she knew that the baby she was carrying wasn't ordinary
Sometimes when we know we have something that others don't have, or we can do what others can't do, pride can creep in. Mary didn't allow pride get into her. In Luke 1:35, Mary was specifically told by the angel that she will be carrying the son of God in her. Although excited, she didn't allow this get into her head. When we have an opportunity to be used by God, do we belittle others? How do you feel when you are the best student in your class or when something mind blowing or an amazing opportunity comes your way? Do you start looking down on those around you? Mary didn't become arrogant because of the blessing God gave her. She stayed humble.
- She praised God despite knowing the gravity of what pregnancy outside marriage meant in her culture
Being pregnant outside of marriage was something that was unheard of during the time of Mary. She knew that she was going to get into trouble. Some people were going to make jest of her. She probably could have been summoned by the elders of her community and church. There was a lot of uncertainties around her situation at the time. However she praised God regardless.
What do we do when life throws us into a space of chaos? How do we react when God's will becomes bitter? When faced with public humiliation and rejection because of our submission to God's will do we throw in the towel and revert back to what we know. Mary was at the most difficult and gloomy time of her life but yet she choose to praise God.
- She submitted to Jesus' way
In John 2:5 Mary used a statement that I think is one of the most powerful lines in the bible. She was at a wedding ceremony were Jesus was with His disciples. The wine ran out. Mary indirectly asked Jesus Christ to fix the situation. When Jesus Christ told her that it wasn't yet time for Him to start His ministry, Mary said to His disciples, "Whatever He says to you, do it." She prepared the ground for Jesus to begin His ministry. This was another way of submission.
- She was sensitive to the need of those around her
It wasn't Mary's business whether the wine was finished at the party or not. It was the duty of the host to cater for their guests. She didn't have to do what she did. However she must have imagined how necessary it was for that need to be met. She did it, thereby removing shame from the host.
As a girl, are you sensitive to the needs of those around you? Are you a problem solver or a problem bringer? Mary saw a need. She didn't make gossip out of it. She didn't run to her cousin Elizabeth to make that conversation a hot topic. She quietly did the best she could to ensure that problem was solved.
- She spoke with grace
When she met Elizabeth, she didn't engage in a popularity context. She could have overshadowed the conversation by going on about what she was carrying. But she didn't. She greeted Elizabeth. Another sign of humility.
As a young girl, do you like drawing attention to yourself? If there is one thing social media has exposed, it is how much people love attention; which can easily turn into idolatry. Are you a girl that likes unnecessary attention? Do you like every conversation to be about you? Do you like the world revolving around you? Do you intentionally control every environment you are in in order to be the one in charge?
It makes a whole lot of sense why someone like Mary was chosen. Not only was her body pure, her speech and her heart were too. She was submissive. She was humble.
Christmas isn't just a time to eat and drink only. I love food and yes we should enjoy good times with friends and family. But I would also love if we could take a moment in this busy season to reflect on this post and see how we could work on becoming a better person.
Always signed with love xx
The Pearls of Purity